The so called climax booster approaches and with it seemingly the final wave of G-era support.
It goes without saying that gear chronicle are the quintessential clan of the G-series and so one last hurrah for Jet and his comrades before the unknown future.
Coming into this set I wasn’t sure what I wanted for the deck, ZTB was a fine tuned machine limited only really by an unfriendly metagame, boasting easily the best G3 in the game and a G-zone most could only dream of its hard to ask for more.
Now while my go to answer would have been unlock and potentially more resist but it seems Bushiroad had other plans. So lets take a look at what Divine Dragon Apocrypha has in store for our time hopping flock.
I don’t plan on going over everything just the cards that feel like they’re worth mentioning in the context of the traditional ZTB deck.
Chrono Dran Z
[AUTO](RC):[Bind this unit face up] When your grade 2 or greater <Zodiac Time Beast> is placed on (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, look at five cards from the top of your deck, reveal up to one grade 3 or 1 card from among them, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck.
[ACT](Bind Zone) Generation Break 1:[Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] Put this card into your hand.
If your starter has generation break you don’t have a starter. It’s a pretty common saying these days with both Overlord and Chaos running rampant, and for good reason. Chrono Dran’s initial iteration was the favoured starter for the deck before setting up for high value first stride plays while being an overall good option. However the massive vulnerability of needing stride left this card in the dust after the metagame shifted. ZTB desperately needed a starter that could actually be used and set 14 delivers.
Dran Z’s first skill is the big thing here, while it can still be shot early by Overlord they have much less of a window to do so now and to sweeten the deal the skill isn’t all that bad either. It’s unlikely this skill will miss due even with the relatively small net of 5 cards. Its almost like a beefed up grade 3 searcher that can potentially find your Jet G3 or even just a PG/Stride fodder.
This definitely plugs a hole offering a lot of outs to potential problems, missing jet or fodder with a starter that dodges earlier removal is pretty big.
The second skill offers a way to recur Dran Z while setting up for Jet Z or the new 10k, whether this is done to simply gain an extra 10k shield or to reuse the first skill its a pretty good deal either way and can definitely help to set up future turns.
While not as easily high advantage as the original Dran the options Z opens up as well as ability to dodge early removal make it the easy choice for the deck moving forward especially in the removal heavy meta we’re currently in.
Pulsar, Bombard Hog
[ACT](RC):[Bind this unit face up] Counter Charge (1).
Simple, clean, effective.
There isn’t much to say, a red lightning clone for gear chronicle is huge even if it doesn’t build soul.
ZTB is a deck that likes to go all out every turn using its resources completely in order to maximise pressure and advantage. Previously the deck relied on Coatl and Hegald to open up plays.
With the addition of this new crit ZTB should be able to utilise cards like Crusing or Spearhead far more effectively especially in combination with Hypnosis Sheep and Dust.
The fact that all this is attached to a crit solidifies its inclusion in the deck thanks to all this effect being attached to a trigger you would be running anyway.
Pulsar, Merry Block Dragon
[CONT](Deck/Drop Zone):If your vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this card gets grade +2.
[AUTO](RC) Generation Break 1:When this unit boosts, you may have this unit get [Power]+2000 for each of your other <Zodiac Time Beast> units until end of that battle. If you do, at the end of that battle, bind this unit face up.
A strong contender for best art in the set, the little toy that could offers some interesting skills. Despite this ZTB’s immensely competitive grade 1 lineup might just be too tight for it to break in.
The first skill on offer here is clearly made to tie in with time leap as well as the new Jet G3s skill.
While this skill is very useful it does have something of a disadvantage in some low frequency scenarios due to its continuous effect. That said thanks to Jet Z this isn’t a massive issue as G2s are the most common target for its skill.
The second skill is again pretty straightforward offering a power bonus to the boosted unit at the cost of disappearing afterwards. While losing a unit purely for power isn’t amazing ZTB is definitely one of the decks that can afford to make that sort of exchange and when combined with Ox or Manish your numbers can really begin to climb up there.
Now by its own merit I’m not sure Merry would be able to make it into the deck but the synergy that this card offers with the new Chronojet and 10k really sell this card for me, this card definitely strikes me as something that the deck wants especially in metagame where your units tend to get shot off the field on your opponents turn.
Pulsar, Metal Party Dragon
[CONT](VC/RC):If you have no cards in your bind zone, this unit cannot attack.
[AUTO](RC) Generation Break 1:[Counter Blast (1) & Bind this unit face up] At the end of the battle that this unit was boosted, you may pay the cost. If you do, call up to one face up grade 3 and 1 <Zodiac Time Beast> from your bind zone to separate (RC) of the same column.
ZTB was a deck that generally like 10ks anyway, despite having a decent suite of early options defence was definitely a sore spot and its not like extra power is ever really a negative.
Moving away from the reveal based restrictions of previous upside 10ks this time a much more harsh restriction is in place. Requiring a card in bind zone to attack is potentially catastrophic. However thanks to Dran Z, Bombard and Rewind Tiger meeting this restriction should be relatively easy, although definitely something to be conscious of.
Moving onto the second skill we have a one card multiattack enabler, while it does require some set-up this is easily achieved via Merry Block and the new Jet and offers some potentially brutal multi-attack combinations relatively easily. The most notable combo here is probably Ox and Merry block creating an effortless column that should achieve very high numbers in most cases.
Even with a relatively strict condition this card offers a lot for very little and I’m almost certain is going to become an all star in the post set-14 ZTB deck.
Chronojet Dragon Z
[CONT](VC):You may pay “Choose a grade 3 <Zodiac Time Beast> from your drop zone, and bind it face up.” as the cost for Stride.
[AUTO](VC):[Soul Blast (1)] When your G unit Stride, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to one of any players’ rear-guards, and put it on the bottom of the deck. If you put one card, search your deck for up to one <Zodiac Time Beast> with grade+1 than the card put due to this effect, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.
Well this card is something else. Chronojet G is often thought to be the best G3 in the game.
Jet Z takes up this torch undaunted by its predecessors reputation but not without some trade-offs.
Let’s start by looking at what’s new, the “free” stride.
Without a doubt this is one of the most powerful skills a grade 3 can carry in the current environment. Previously this type of skill has been shown to help decks not only stay ahead but come back from several situations. Not having to give up a hand card or top deck a grade 3 goes a long way especially over time so Jet Z carrying this skill although somewhat restrictive is a huge boon.
Not only this but the restriction itself is set up by plenty of cards in the deck, the search skill present on stride fodder allows you to search for Jet while discarding another 3, essentially making your stride cost calling a unit to the board.
Later on Dran Z can set up this skill with his recursion skill and even regular game actions like traditional stride and perfect guarding all contribute too.
The next skill is a pseudo sort of time leap come removal skill. I mean it goes without saying that using your opponents units to your advantage is pretty amazing advantage. Forcing a unit off the opponents board for a soulblast is already great value tagging on a time leap of sorts just makes the already sweet deal that much more amazing. That said this is where one of the trade-offs from G shows. Not being to call from hand before the leap means that your options are slightly more restricted. Units called from this skill are also stuck to the board so you do lose the ability to double dip on skills or keep key units out of the line of fire.
The last real trade-off is the lack of an offensive skill on the card itself, this unfortunately means that Nextage/Gear Groovy probably finally get the axe which does lose you one of the higher offence turn but considering the other options available its almost certainly a worthwhile transaction.
Overall I think Z certainly earns the spot over G, despite the loss of some synergies the sheer value this card can create passively on top of ZTBs near unrivalled innate advantage engine will easily take control of games.
[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[AUTO]:[Choose four other face up <Zodiac Time Beast> from your G zone, and turn them face down] When this unit is put into your G zone from (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, you get an additional turn. Skip the ride phase of the additional turn, and Stride this card on (VC) at the beginning of the main phase.
I don’t think you need me to tell you that an extra turn is an incredibly powerful skill.
The implication of an extra turn broken down without even considering the effect on the opponent include, 4 extra cards, a full field restand and a chance to refresh resources in between all that.
There isn’t a whole lot that can be added to that, the skill speaks for itself, perhaps the most notable facet of this skill is that even if the opponent does survive you probably got so far ahead of them that they effectively lose the game anyway. It’s hard to catch up to an entire extra turn of advantage.
So instead of dissecting the skill lets look at the condition which in itself has some interesting points to touch on. First off the very basic cost of this to flip 4 ZTB G-units face down again, this obviously puts an integral messiah style condition on when this skill can be used. Secondly is the lack of any kind of restriction on how many times this skill can be used provided you can pay the cost for it.
This card essentially puts a hard time limit on the opponent if you get to heritage they’ve probably lost the game and even if they try to play a hype defensive game in preparation you can hit them with double extra turns.
Without a doubt this card has a huge amount of power and will certainly be something to fear moving forward.
Pulsar Saver, Ilishu
[G guardian] (Usable when both fighters’ vanguards are grade 3 or greater, and the number of face up G guardians in your G zone is three or less)-Opponent Turn’s Guard Step-[Choose a card with “Heal” from your hand, and discard it] Call this card to your (GC) from face down.
[AUTO]:[Soul Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (GC), if the number of cards in your bind zone is one or more, you may pay the cost. If you do, until end of that battle, this unit gets [Shield]+5000, then, if it is five or more, this unit gets [Shield]+15000.
The isn’t much to Ilishu, she’s pure shield power and while 35k is nothing to sneeze at the condition is semi-strict although not hard to achieve.
Regardless of her own merit though Ilishu earns a spot in the G-zone simply for being a zodiac time beast. She doesn’t exactly look the part but as far as Heritage is concerned she meets all the requirements. Purely by virtue of her race this card earns a spot in the G-zone.
The skill is still pretty good though especially when considering the deck is far more bind heavy these days.
The G-era is fast approaching its end and gear chronicle are certainly looking to go out with a bang. Whether the new tools they got will be enough for them to overcome their difficult match-ups remains to be seen but the deck is at the very least showing a lot of promise.
Thanks for reading
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